McCain & Lieberman BFF
Cleveland–Wednesday, Sen. John McCain leaves here for St. Paul, where the presumed GOP nominee is due to give the most important speech of his political career. Before he speaks, however, he’ll have to listen to his controversial vice presidential pick, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin — not his first choice, according to some reports.
No, that would be the pseudo-Democrat-Independent Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.), who once served in that same role for Al Gore on the 2000 Democratic ticket. In a way, McCain being pulled back by his advisers and the more conservative base of the party is a shame. There’s something that happens to McCain when he’s around Lieberman. There’s a mutual admiration that beams through when McCain speaks with Lieberman at his side.
Perhaps it’s the shared experience of being shunned by the base of your party. Perhaps its just that they like each other. Whatever the reason, the result is always the same: the shedding of the meaner McCain, who many (including myself) have written about during this campaign; and the re-emergence of the friendlier, even boyish maverick, whom we got to know during his 2000 GOP primary bid.
McCain, of course, can put on his best face for Palin — whom he hardly knows, and whom the evangelical base simply loooooves. But one has to wonder about the residual effects this non-choice of Lieberman will have for McCain going forward. The two played off each other like brothers, bringing out the best in one another. Of course, Lieberman will continue to be a surrogate. But it seems unlikely that he will fight in the same way had McCain chosen to have him on his ticket. No. Now the old soldier must go forward alone.